Laura Bowers

Laura Bowers Profile Picture

Assistant Professor 

University of Texas at Austin

Contact Info:

Stone Hall 206

Training Group(s):
Cancer Biology

Active Mentor - currently hosting PULSe students for laboratory rotations and recruiting PULSe students into the laboratory; serves on preliminary exam committees

Current Research Interests:

My research program focuses on investigating the role of chronic adipose tissue inflammation and other factors in the link between obesity and breast and colon cancer. There are currently two major tracks in my program. The first track will determine whether inflammation-promoting changes in the gut microbiota play a key role in the link between obesity and elevated colon cancer risk. The second is examining whether leptin-induced cancer stem cell enrichment mediates obesity-associated breast cancer chemoresistance. Through enhanced understanding of the mechanisms mediating the obesity-cancer link, we aim to discover: 1) Biomarkers that will help identify the patients at highest risk of cancer development and mortality within the obese population, 2) Novel dietary and pharmaceutical interventions that reduce the impact of obesity on cancer risk and outcomes in these patients.

Selected Publications:

  1. Bowers LW, Lineberger CL, Ford NA, Rossi EL, Punjala A, Camp KK, Kimler BK, Fabian CJ, Hursting SD. The flaxseed lignan secoisolariciresinol diglycoside decreases local inflammation suppresses NFkB signaling, and inhibits mammary tumor growth. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2019; 173:545-57.
  2. Bowers LW, Rossi EL, McDonell SB, Doerstling SS, Khatib SA, Lineberger CG, Albright JE, Tang X, deGraffenried LA, Hursting SD. Leptin signaling mediates obesity-associated CSC enrichment and EMT in preclinical TNBC models. Mol Cancer Res. 2018; 16:869-79.
  3. Rossi EL, Dunlap SM, Bowers LW, Khatib SA, Doerstling SS, Smith LA, Ford NA, Holley D, Brown PH, Estecio MR, Kusewitt DF, deGraffenried LA, Bultman SJ, Hursting SD. Energy balance modulation impacts epigenetic reprogramming, ER alpha and ER beta expression, mammary tumor development in MMTV-neu transgenic mice. Cancer Res. 2017; 77:2500-11.
  4. Rossi EL, de Angel R, Bowers LW, Khatib S, Smith LA, Van Buren E, Bhardwaj P, Giri D, Estecio M, Troester M, Hair B, Kirk E, Gong T, Shen J, Dannenberg AJ, Hursting SD. Obesity-associated alterations in inflammation, epigenetics and mammary tumor growth persist in formerly obese mice. Cancer Prev Res. 2016; 9:339-48.
  5. Bowers LW, Brenner AJ, Hursting SD, Tekmal RR, deGraffenried LA. Obesity-associated systemic interleukin 6 promotes pre-adipocyte aromatase expression via increased breast cancer cell prostaglandin E2 production. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2014; 149:49-57.
  6. Bowers LW, Maximo IXF, Brenner AJ, Beeram M, Hursting SD, Price RS, Tekmal RR, deGraffenried LA. NSAID use attenuates breast cancer recurrence in obese women: Role of prostaglandin-aromatase interactions. Cancer Res. 2014; 74:4446-57.
  7. Bowers LW, Cavazos DA, Brenner AJ, Hursting SD, Maximo IXF, deGraffenried LA. Obesity enhances nongenomic estrogen receptor cross-talk with the PI3K/Akt and MAPK pathways to promote in vitro measures of breast cancer progression. Breast Cancer Res.2013; 15:R59.
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